“Hey, smoking tea, hitting bongo drums, berets eh?”
Pictured bottom, left
We’ve mentioned the roots of America Fun Fact of the Day previously, we at AFFotD fear the future, and long for the warm, comforting, alcohol-hazed memories of the past. Beer’s been around for 11,500 years, really good beer’s been around two hundred years, and moonshining has been around just about as long. What else do we have to look forward to? Science has already made it abundantly clear they don’t care about our Back to the Future 2 desires for a hovering skateboard, so why should we give a crap about the future?
The “future” means “this terrifying soulless object is going to kill us all.”
So, like most Americans with an archive of company material and a kegerator full of Everclear at their disposal, we’ve decided to go back into our 1950’s archives, when life was simpler and alcohol came without surgeon general’s warnings. We’ve already given you an inside look into 1950’s parenting styles, as well as a helpful guide how to spot communists.
As it turns out, in the 1950’s AFFotD, previously known as “The Informative American” had a lot of helpful guides about the menaces of society. Which makes it remarkably comprehensive, because apparently in the 1950’s everything was a menace. Communists were a menace, cars from Japan were a menace, stores that chose to stay open during Sundays were a menace. And in this instance, the menace we were reading up on came from a 1959 article decrying the latest “menace” to hit American popular culture.
Today, we have hipsters. In the 70s, we had hippies. But back in the Leave it to Beaver age, the most terrifying thing imaginable was…running into a Beatnik, the stereotypical archetype that exhibited the more superficial tendencies of the Beat Generation. Berets, coffee, bongo drums, bad poetry, basically we’re dealing with Ned Flanders’ father here.
Well, we thought it was interesting to hear why they were everything wrong with America, so that’s why we present to you, straight from our archives…
The Informative American’s Guide to the Ills of the Beatnik Menace (originally published October, 1959)
“What are you doing to Kermit, you damned beatnik!?”